TEH PRESS RELEASE: Member Izolyatsia has been occupied by DPR

Dear friends of Trans Europe Halles, 

We want to inform you of the outrageous occupation of TEH Member centreIzolyatsia (Donetsk, Ukraine) and express our concern with the situation. Because of this, we would like you to help us spread the news via social media (please use #getoutofizo) and other means. You can find TEH's press release and some graphic materials here.

These are the facts: On Monday morning 9th June 2014 the premises of TEH Member Izolyatsia Foundation were forcibly occupied by the DPR, a terrorist organisation operating illegally and without sovereign authority within the city of Donetsk.

At around 09:00 local time a group of armed separatists entered onto private propertydemanding the appropriation of the site and its buildings for the benefit of the DPR and its activities.

Izolyatsia, a private not-for-profit organisation based in rented accommodation, is utterly disgusted by the actions of the DPR whose operations announce a direct and explicit violation of the democratic freedoms of speech, and the indirect censure of egalitarian initiatives.

Izolyatsia, a non-governmental organisation was established in 2010 to provide a catalyst for change offering opportunity for all genres of creative expression. The foundation, based on the site of a former insulation factory aims to provide a hub of cultural excellence delivering social, economic and ecological transformation to a post-industrial hinterland.

The Izolyatsia experience sets out to nurture a dynamic environment emphasising the creative process whilst supporting curiosity, investigation and cultural production. As a site of creative risk Izolyatsia is uniquely placed to actively encourage an open dialogue and educational exchange set within the context of cultural experimentation and enterprise. The local community is at the forefront of its activities inviting participation and immersion into a resource sadly lacking in south eastern Ukraine.

Izolyatsia appeals to the international community and all medias to support Izolyatsia’a activities in exile in Kiev and spread this news.

It is with great dismay that Trans Europe Halles received the news that pro-Russian separatists have occupied the cultural centre Izolyatsia. TEH strongly believes that creative and artistic expression are core factors in the development of a healthy and democratic society since they can be used as powerful means to inspire and boost free expression, critical thinking and identity. The fact that a civil-society-managed cultural centre like Izolyatsia has been occupied by armed forces shows the disrespect of the DPR towards some of the most important values in a free society.Therefore, TEH and all its member organisations strongly condemn this action and expect the separatists to inmediately leave Izolyatsia.

The International Charity Foundation Izolyatsia is a grass-root multidisciplinary cultural centre established in 2010 aiming to inject new life into the premises of an old abandoned mineral cotton factory. Inspiring social change and regional development through the arts, Izolyatsia has become the main independent cultural actor in Donetsk, an industrial city with almost 1 million inhabitants situated in Eastern Ukraine. 

Izolyatsia is a member centre of Trans Europe Halles, a European based network of cultural centres initiated by artists and citizens that brings together 70 members in 28 countries.

Birgitta Persson and José Luis Rodríguez

Trans Europe Halles Coordination Office

Lund, Sweden.